Time and time again whenever a tragedy occurs, people from the Left and the Right jump up to politicize it. The most recent example of this is the Colorado theater shooting. Shortly after it happened everyone was jumping on it trying to use it to their advantage.
Almost automatically, in typical fashion, Liberals and Democrats brought up gun control. Now, I personally don’t have a problem with gun regulations (and I am a gun owner and Progressive myself). I do not think that people need access to automatic weapons or extended clips. But it seems for the most part that when a tragedy occurs they automatically use it to push that agenda. Then after a few months the talk dies down and you don’t hear anything about it again (until the next tragedy). This is where the Liberals and Democrats shoot themselves in the foot (pun intended). If you want people to take your position on something seriously, you have to promote it all year round, every year. Not just after a tragedy. If not, you look like nothing but an opportunist who is using a tragedy to further your agenda.
The same thing happened after the shooting of Representative Gabrielle Giffords in Arizona. Automatically people started spouting the gun regulations talking point. After a few months? Crickets. And it’s been crickets up until James Holmes walked into a movie theater in full tactical gear and an AR-15 and killing 12 people and injuring countless others.
Now there are those on the Left who do talk about gun regulations all the time, so this doesn’t apply to them. Unfortunately, though, their cries are deafened by the political opportunists and then ignored by the media once the fiasco dies down.
Another way a tragedy is politicized is by political affiliation. After Giffords was shot, the Left jumped all over a Democratic Congresswoman being shot and automatically labeled Loughner a Right-wing terrorist and Tea Party member. The same thing happened after the Colorado theater tragedy. A few Lefties jumped on labelling him a Right-winger. Then some information came out claiming that he was affiliated with the Occupy Wall Street movement. When that happened, those on the Left started the rally cry, albeit quite hypocritically, myself included, of it being irrelevant. Even if he was OWS, that does not mean that OWS was involved (as some on the Right were claiming). And there are countless examples of this same thing happening in recent years. Look up what happened following the actions of people like Joe Stack, John Bedell, Seung-Hui Cho, etc.
To me, this is opportunism at its worst. When a tragedy happens, politicians and talking heads and internet bloggers and YouTubists and wanna be journalists and filmmakers jump on it and try to put some political spin on it to gain some sort of advantage, especially in an election year. I mean look at it. Some people, especially from Conspiracy Theory circles, are claiming that the Colorado theater shooting was a set up and James Holmes is a patsy (or an MK ultra victim) and that this was orchestrated in order to pass legislation to get our guns taken away from us. It’s the continued fallacy of “Obama’s gunna tekk away err guuuuunz!”
When a tragedy happens like this, the Right tries to completely ignore the actual victims of the crime and try to make gun owners and gun rights the victim. And the Left helps them by, again, taking on gun control directly afterward, I mean even before the blood dries. And the Left politically use the victims to further their gun control agenda. It’s utterly repulsive to me all the way across the board.
Until the day comes when we can stop politicizing a tragedy then I figuratively weep for America and the political process. So this is my advice: Stop politicizing tragedies! Let the families bury their dead without turning the death of their loved ones into a political three-ring circus.